Farnham Pioneers

The Heart of Farnham

First Mayor of West Farnham

Mr. Louis Bourdon was elected as the first mayor of West Farnham on July 1, 1855, at the time of the parish municipalities. When Farnham was incorporated as a village on January 1, 1862, Mr. Bourdon was re-elected mayor and remained so until his death in 1863.

Extract from a text by Alban Berthiaume.

Father Jean-Baptiste Verronneau and his achievements

Pastor of the Village of West Farnham and of the Town of Farnham from September 1868 to July 1881, during this period he contributed to the founding of the Convent in 1873, the College in 1875 and the Hospital in 1877.

Text version of the audio

NARRATOR (female voice)
You’re now in the Parc Conrad-Blain, in the heart of downtown Farnham. Here we can see the Yamaska River, the Eva-Dulude Footbridge, the Antonio-Bernier Bridge and the Saint-Romuald Catholic church.

Part of the landscape here exists thanks to the efforts put forth by many pioneers who contributed to the development and growth of the City of Farnham.   

NARRATOR (male voice)
Among these individuals, we must mention Mr. Louis Bourdon, mayor of the West Farnham parish municipality from 1855 until the Village of West Farnham was incorporated in 1862. Not only did his political involvement make him one of the pioneers who helped develop the City of Farnham, but he was also one of the instigators who founded the West Farnham Bridge Co, which was established to build Farnham’s first bridge in 1851.

NARRATOR (female voice)
Do you know rue McCorkill? It’s located near the Centre de la nature. In fact, the name refers to the McCorkills, a family which was very active in the community for two generations. Mr. Robert McCorkill was a prominent landowner in the Village of West Farnham. Three of his sons followed in his footsteps and were also very active in West Farnham. He’s said to have been the first postmaster in 1845. Subsequently, he became a justice of the peace, a miller, a general merchant and the owner of a hotel.

NARRATOR (male voice)
In 1877, his oldest son, John Charles James Sarsfield McCorkill, born in 1854, received his degree in Law from McGill University. After practising his profession in Montréal, and in Cowansville, he was elected as the Liberal Representative for Missisquoi County in the beginning of the 1900s. He occupied the position of Supreme Court Judge until 1918. During his mandate he also contributed to the revision of Québec’s Municipal Code.

As for his brother, Robert Knox Carleton Graham McCorkill, he chose to enter the field of medicine. After exercising his profession in Farnham, he’s said to have pursued his studies in Scotland in 1883 and 1884. He returned with a surgeon’s degree and practised in the operating rooms of Farnham’s Sainte-Elisabeth Hospital. He was also elected Mayor of the City of Farnham for two mandates between the years 1896 and 1904.

NARRATOR (female voice)
The youngest family member, Philip Winfield Scott Kearny McCorkill is said to have worked as a real estate agent and was the mayor of the city of Farnham from 1914 to 1918. He passed away on November 24, 1932, at the age of 72, and was laid to rest in Farnham’s Kirkwood cemetery, with the other members of his family.

NARRATOR (male voice)
Father Jean-Baptiste Véronneau, parish priest of the Village of Farnham West and the City of Farnham from 1868 to 1881, was also an important figure in the history of the City. During this period, he contributed to the founding of many important institutions such as the Convent in 1873, the College in 1875 and the Hospital in 1877.

Extract of
City of Farnham Historical Tour

City of Farnham Historical Tour image circuit

Presented by : Ville de Farnham

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